Human/animal abuse link cases

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2005:

Tequilla Fields, 34, and Lachan Russell, 29, were on
February 15, 2005 jailed without bond in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
facing charges of criminal homicide, arson, and reckless
endangerment for setting a dog on fire at about 2:15 a.m. on July 11,
1990. Tied to their house, the dog ran onto the porch, igniting
the house and killing Fields’ children, Montelle Thornhill, 2, and
Charita Thornhill, 3. Wrote Joe Mandak of Associated Press, “The
children’s great-grandmother, who has since died, doused the dog
with water, police said. The dog, Fay Lou, then ran inside the
house and was found dead under Montelle’s bed. Their uncle, Andre
Robinson, then 15, tried to save the children but couldn’t find
them in the thick smoke. He jumped from a third-floor window to save
himself, police said.” Police commander Maurita Bryant said the
case was cracked by re-interviewing about 20 witnesses, after which
Fields and Russell each gave statements blaming the other.

Summit County Judge Brenda Burnham Unruh on February 17,
2005 sentenced Daniel Fikes, 57, of Norton, Ohio, to serve three
years in prison for shooting four of his wife’s seven cats last
October in front of his eight-year-old grandson, 16-year-old son,
and a 17-year-old nephew. Fikes, once locally notorious for his
menagerie of bears, lions, tigers, wolves, and a leopard, served
four years in prison after he and his wife Nancy were convicted in
1991 of promoting prostitution and related drug offenses. Fikes had
prior convictions “dating back to the late 1960s for robbery, rape
and drug trafficking,” wrote Akron Beacon-Journal staff writer Phil

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